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  • - Maggie Mieske

    Re: [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides - Howard Bramhall

    I am amazed at the life this thread has.  And, till now, I used to think quite a few of you were on the conservative side, when it came to most of the discussions on Ridecamp.  I felt this way because of past experience; anytime I wrote something about religion or sex or questionable language I'd get a flogging and would be put in blocks in the town square.  But, it appears there's more left wing radicals on here than I thought, at least when it comes to junior riders.  Ralph Nader would be so proud to be a member of Ridecamp; quick, someone call the Green Party.
    On and on the controversy goes; it's a non issue, people calling others morons, child abusers, El Whackos.  I am just loving this so much I'm reluctant to throw in my two cents cause I seem to be able to kill a thread with idiodic comments quicker than most.  From what I'm understanding, there is no age restriction for juniors as far as AERC goes, so a two year old on a horse is perfectly OK with ya'll doing a 50 as long as his parents approve.  Is that correct?
    So, I guess if I let my 13 year old daughter drive my pick up truck and try to back it in next to your campsite with our three horse slant load trailer none of you will mind, cause I said it's OK.  And if she takes out your awning because she misjudged, due to lack of experience, you won't get upset, right?  OK, here we come!
    Look, we're a nation of Rules and Laws and so is most of the civilized world.  Without them we might as well all live in Somalia, where the guy with the largest Private Army wins all the discussions.  Some of you might think this is a non issue because it doesn't come up much.  My guess is it doesn't come up much because not too many 4 year olds are out there on the endurance trail.  Duh, we do have some parents with brains out there, which is kind of key to our survival as humans.
    I hate rules.  I'm one of those who would normally say, "first rule is there are no rules."  But, this is different.  If you've ever experienced your kid on a runaway horse at a crowded endurance ride, and had that moment where you thought you might have to witness their death, right in front of your eyes, there would be no discussion here.  And, believe me, I thought I had all the bases covered.  She was an excellent rider, her horse was trained never to pass me and my horse (or so I thought), and I did this because of my kid's request of running with the front of the pack!  Cause, like Heidi says, we shouldn't over protect the children and if they want to do something you should let them do it so they grow up real quick and turn out real strong.  Well, Jen came close to never growing another inch at that ride.
    During that ride I would probably fall under Joe's description of child abuser, although I wouldn't go that far.  Most parents think they know what they're doing when raising their child, and will let their kid take some risks, but avoid others.  As a parent of MANY CHILDREN I know better than to offer advice or get caught up in what another parent is doing with their kids.  But, come on, ya'll object to an 8 year old restriction on junior riders as the minimum? You want to leave it at zero? Let's at least make it 5.  I'm amazed, totally amazed!
    Howard (SAVE THE KIDS NOW)
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Heidi Smith
    Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 2:43 PM
    To: Sullivan; heidi sowards
    Cc: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: Re: [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides
    >  You are missing the biggest difference, being that adults have the right
    > to make their own decisions, kids do not.
    > Karen

    Actually, it is by making a rule that you deprive kids of the opportunity to
    make decisions.  Whether or not kids can make decisions depends a great deal
    on the quality of parenting, and how well parents guide those decisions.  By
    making an arbitrary rule, parents are denied the right to allow their
    children to make responsible decisions, within a framework set by the


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